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8 December 2023

The Government has announced changes to the EUSS, YMS, visitor rules, and more

A new Statement of Changes has been released by the Government updating various immigration rules such as the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), amongst other things. Find out more below.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Statement of changes 1

On 7 December 2023, the Government announced a new and likely final Statement of Changes of the year. It includes a wide range of updates to various travel and immigration rules. These include changes to Temporary Work Visa routes, EUSS, Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) and more.

We shall go through these changes one by one to help you understand all of the important to know changes. 

Changes to the EUSS in the Statement of Changes

Anyone visiting the UK who plans on joining their family already in the UK, must apply within three months of their arrival in the UK. If there are reasonable grounds for a delay, then they will get some leeway.

Limited leave to remain that was granted under the EUSS can be reduced if the person has not met the requirements of EUSS. The amount of time will be proportionate to the specific circumstances of the person; anyone who receives a reduction in time has the right of appeal. 

Additionally, the Home Office has stated that valid applications to the EUSS made by people who have illegally entered the UK will be prevented.

Visitor rules updates

Anyone who is visiting the UK for intra-corporate activities can now work with their clients. It no longer counts as offshoring business services overseas. 

The rules have also been updated to clearly state that visitors to the UK can work remotely whilst they are here, but it cannot be the main reason for their visit. 

Scientists, researchers, and academics can now carry out research when they visit the UK. Before these changes, scientists could only do research if they were either doing it independently, or if they were on sabbatical leave. 

Legal professionals will also be able to do more when they visit the UK, though the Statement of Changes does not specify what. 

Visitors who are speaking at conferences can now also be paid for giving their talk. This is because talking at conferences has been added to the list of Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE). Additionally, the Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor route is being merged with the Standard Visitor Visa. Previously anyone coming to the UK for reasons on the PPE list would have needed a special visa, but this is no longer required. However, they must have arranged their talk or other activity before they travel to the UK, and they must carry it out within 30 days of being here.

School groups travelling from France to the UK travel requirement updates

French children aged 18 and under will be able to visit the UK as part of an organised trip with their educational institution, without needing a visa or passport. 

Any EU, EEA, or Swiss child aged 18 and under, but are studying in France, can also visit the UK without needing a passport. However, they will need to use their national identity cards.

Finally, children under 18 who are studying in France, but are there on a visa, can also visit the UK on an organised school trip without a visa. However, they will still need their passports.

Changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme

A YMS arrangement has been made with Uruguay. The Government has updated the YMS rules to reflect this, and added Uruguay to the YMS list. 

Furthermore, the YMS information is being changed to reflect the new agreements that the UK has made with Japan and South Korea. The allotted number of places for people from both countries has been increased, as has the amount allotted to UK nationals who want to go to either country. 

Additionally, the age range for South Koreans applying to the scheme has increased from 18-30 to 18-35. 

Finally, nationals of Japan and South Korea no longer need to be given an invitation to apply for the scheme.

Victims of domestic abuse applying to enter the UK

Victims of domestic abuse can apply for entry clearance from outside of the UK if they have been abandoned overseas, and it is believed that it is part of the domestic abuse they are a victim of. They can also bring dependants. 

The fee for an application may be waived for those applying for settlement as Victims of Domestic Abuse if the applicant is believed to be destitute. 

Someone who was previously granted permission to enter the UK as a partner or as family of someone with permission to enter as a refugee, can also apply for settlement as a Victim of Domestic Abuse.

Statelessness replacing the Stateless Persons appendix of the rules

From 16 January 2024, partners and children of stateless people cannot apply for entry clearance, permission to stay, or for settlement. 

If the children or partner of a stateless person are not stateless, they can apply to come to the UK under family provisions. A stateless person can sponsor their child or partner, but they will still need to pay for the fees or have a waiver. They will also need to meet the existing requirements. 

Children and partners with existing permission to remain in the UK will still be able to settle in the UK, or extend their permission to stay. 

Stateless people applying to enter the UK can now combine time from multiple routes into the UK to count towards the five years needed for settlement. They must have had permission on the stateless route for one year.

Temporary Worker routes updates

Several of the updates to Temporary Worker Visa routes appendices are simply amendments for previous errors. 

For example, corrections to the length of permission that people applying to the International Agreement route can stay in the UK for.

The appendix for the Innovator Founder route has also been corrected, as it previously stated that PhD students who want to switch their visa to the Innovator Founder route needed to have completed 12 months of study. It has been corrected to say they need to have completed 24 months of study.

Also, the bodies on the list of Government Authorised Exchange schemes are being updated to remove redundant schemes. 

One notable change is that the appendices for the Creative Worker Visa, Government Authorised Exchange Visa, and the Returning Resident route have had parental route requirements outlined.

How we can help

We have a team of legal experts ready to help you with any of your immigration related needs. 

If you are planning on applying for a visa to enter the UK, or have issues related to the EUSS, indefinite leave to remain, or any other related problem, then we can help.

We have a free 10-minute long consultation, which can be followed by a paid 30-minute consultation or a one hour consultation. 

Contact us

Get in touch with us if you are interested in any of our helpful services. 

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If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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